Michaela received her training at The Gelsey Kirkland Ballet Academy in NYC. The curriculum is based in traditional Russian technique. The syllabus consisted of core dynamics, technique, pointe, classical variation, repertoire, pas de deux, music, and acting. She also studied with Jessica Howard a three times National Championship winner in rhythmic gymnastics. Michaela attended both The American Ballet Theatre and Bolshoi Ballet summer intensives. She is a recipient of a bronze and gold medal at the LIBC and was inducted into the National Society of Dance Arts. She has danced with Gelsey Kirkland Ballet, Twin Cities Ballet and is currently with Continental Ballet Company. Michaela received her teacher certification from the Bolshoi Ballet Academy of Russia. She has coached for the YAGP with two of her students placing in the finals. Her teaching style is rooted in classical ballet with an emphasis on wellness.
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Katie Lien is the Owner and Artistic Director of Katie Lien School of Dance, ever since 2000. Katie began her dance training in North Dakota, where she studied with many of the local dance schools. During Katie’s childhood years, she performed on stage with Bob McGrath, in “Sesame Street Live” Celebrating 25 years on Prairie Public television’s Kid Zone. Katie also performed in the Nutcracker with the Oakland Ballet, under the direction of Ronn Guidi. In 2001, Katie starred in the Musical “Chicago”, a Crimson Creek Production, as Annie the female prisoner. In 2003 Katie was selected to tour nationally with Dance Olympus-America, as a VIP. She was honored to assist some of the leading dance masters in the nation, such as Sarah Jo Fazio, Gregg Russell, Frank Hatchett, Jay-T, Derek Mitchell and Christina Woodard, to name a few. This was a pivotal time for Katie, and this experience shaped her as a dancer opening her eyes to the possibilities that her students could achieve with the right instruction. Katie is trained in many styles of dance, including Ballet, Tap, Irish Clogging, Jazz, Lyrical, Contemporary & Hip Hop. Her philosophy is that a dancer can always do more, so she takes an annual trip to NYC, to dance at the Broadway Dance Center, Steps on Broadway and Alvin Ailey. Katie also attends conventions & seminars whenever possible. Because of this dedication, Katie received the 2005 "Teachers Choice Award" at the Dance Olympus Regional Competition. Her choreography and students continue to win top marks at regional & national competitions year after year. Katie graduated from UND with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Communication Science and Disorders and minored in Psychology. During the summer of 2010, Katie was asked to do all the choreography for the Mound-Westonka 'Pop Singers' show, and was thrilled to see the finished product!
EMMA GISLASON, INSTRUCTOR
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Melinda grew up in the Washington DC area. She started training at her mothers dance studio and went on to study throughout the tri state area. Melinda moved to NYC in 2002 to attend NYU. Shortly after she joined the Radio City Rockettes. She has performed in the Radio City Christmas Spectacular and worked as an Assistant Choreographer, Dance Captain and Swing on the show. She also performed in the Spring Spectacular and the Summer Spectacular as a Rockette.Melinda has also been seen on The Today Show, Good Morning America, The Rachael Ray Show, Ellen, Dancing with the Stars and the TONY awards. Melinda is passionate about teaching and sharing her experiences with students of all ages. When not performing she travels the country as a guest teacher, she loves dancing with kids of all ages!
Emma Gislason was born and raised in Burnsville, Minnesota. Her love of dance began at the young age of three when she walked into her first ballet class at Monique’s School of Dance in Apple Valley. Emma spent twelve years with Monique’s. During her time there, she enjoyed being a part of pieces choreographed by renowned choreographers such as Geno Forliti and Angelo Moio, and being cast as a backup dancer for R&B singer, Alexander O’Neal, at First Avenue in Minneapolis. At age fifteen, Emma transitioned into the competitive dance world when she joined Studio Vibe in Eagan and the Burnsville High School Blazettes (dance team). She also began teaching jazz at Studio Vibe in high school and fell in love with helping students become the best dancer they could be. Currently, Emma is a graduate at the University of Minnesota with a degree in Sociology. In addition to teaching at Katie Lien's she is a Minnesota Vikings Cheerleading and enjoys cheering on the best team in the NFL from the sidelines at every home game. She also assistant coaches the Varsity Jazz Burnsville Blazettes dance tame and has loved being back at her Alma mater. The highlight of her career as a dancer/dance teacher thus far was the 4 months she spent in South Africa in the Spring of 2017. She spent her time there teaching tap-dance to kids living in impoverished townships. She is a strong believer that the performing arts is the best way to heal brokenness and spread love.
MELINDA FARRELL, GUEST ARTIST
SYLVIA CHANDLER, BALLET INSTRUCTOR
MICHAELA MACAULEY, BALLET INSTRUCTOR
EMILY JOHNSON, INSTRUCTOR